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"Activator" Alert: MacOS Malware Hides in Cracked Apps, Targeting Crypto Wallets

"Activator" Alert: MacOS Malware Hides in Cracked Apps, Targeting Crypto Wallets

Jan 23, 2024 Malware / Cryptocurrency
Cracked software have been observed infecting Apple macOS users with a previously undocumented stealer malware capable of harvesting system information and cryptocurrency wallet data. Kaspersky, which identified the artifacts in the wild,  said  they are designed to target machines running macOS Ventura 13.6 and later, indicating the malware's ability to infect Macs on both Intel and Apple silicon processor architectures. The attack chains leverage booby-trapped disk image (DMG) files that include a program named "Activator" and a pirated version of legitimate software such as xScope. Users who end up opening the DMG files are urged to move both files to the Applications folder and run the Activator component to apply a supposed patch and run the xScope app. Launching Activator, however, displays a prompt asking the victim to enter the system administrator password, thereby allowing it to execute a Mach-O binary with elevated permissions in order to launch the modif
Most Sophisticated iPhone Hack Ever Exploited Apple's Hidden Hardware Feature

Most Sophisticated iPhone Hack Ever Exploited Apple's Hidden Hardware Feature

Dec 28, 2023 Spyware / Hardware Security
The  Operation Triangulation  spyware attacks targeting Apple iOS devices leveraged never-before-seen exploits that made it possible to even bypass pivotal hardware-based security protections erected by the company. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which  discovered  the  campaign  at the beginning of 2023 after becoming one of the targets,  described  it as the "most sophisticated attack chain" it has ever observed to date. The campaign is believed to have been active since 2019. Operation Triangulation gets its name from the use of a fingerprinting technique called canvas fingerprinting to draw a yellow triangle on a pink background with Web Graphics Library ( WebGL ) in the device's memory. The exploitation activity involved the use of four zero-day flaws that were fashioned into a chain to obtain an unprecedented level of access and backdoor target devices running iOS versions up to iOS 16.2 with the ultimate goal of gathering sensitive information. The starti
Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl
Cloud Atlas' Spear-Phishing Attacks Target Russian Agro and Research Companies

Cloud Atlas' Spear-Phishing Attacks Target Russian Agro and Research Companies

Dec 25, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The threat actor referred to as  Cloud Atlas  has been linked to a set of spear-phishing attacks on Russian enterprises. Targets included a Russian agro-industrial enterprise and a state-owned research company, according to a  report  from F.A.C.C.T., a standalone cybersecurity company formed after Group-IB's formal exit from Russia earlier this year. Cloud Atlas, active since at least 2014, is a cyber espionage group of unknown origin. Also called Clean Ursa, Inception, Oxygen, and Red October, the threat actor is known for its persistent campaigns targeting Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Slovenia. In December 2022, Check Point and Positive Technologies  detailed  multi-stage attack sequences that led to the deployment of a PowerShell-based backdoor referred to as PowerShower as well as DLL payloads capable of communicating with an actor-controlled server. The starting point is a phishing message bearing a lure document that exploits  CVE-2017-11882 , a six-year-ol
cyber security

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.
Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software

Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software

Dec 08, 2023 Endpoint Security / Malware
Unauthorized websites distributing trojanized versions of cracked software have been found to infect Apple macOS users with a new  Trojan-Proxy  malware. "Attackers can use this type of malware to gain money by building a proxy server network or to perform criminal acts on behalf of the victim: to launch attacks on websites, companies and individuals, buy guns, drugs, and other illicit goods," Kaspersky security researcher Sergey Puzan  said . The Russian cybersecurity firm said it found evidence indicating that the malware is a cross-platform threat, owing to artifacts unearthed for Windows and Android that piggybacked on pirated tools. The macOS variants propagate under the guise of legitimate multimedia, image editing, data recovery, and productivity tools. This suggests that users searching for pirated software are the targets of the campaign. Unlike their genuine, unaltered counterparts, which are offered as disk image (.DMG) files, the rogue versions are delivered
New 'HrServ.dll' Web Shell Detected in APT Attack Targeting Afghan Government

New 'HrServ.dll' Web Shell Detected in APT Attack Targeting Afghan Government

Nov 25, 2023 Cyber Attack / Threat Intelligence
An unspecified government entity in Afghanistan was targeted by a previously undocumented web shell called  HrServ  in what's suspected to be an advanced persistent threat (APT) attack. The web shell, a dynamic-link library (DLL) named "hrserv.dll," exhibits "sophisticated features such as custom encoding methods for client communication and in-memory execution," Kaspersky security researcher Mert Degirmenci  said  in an analysis published this week. The Russian cybersecurity firm said it identified variants of the malware dating all the way back to early 2021 based on the compilation timestamps of these artifacts. Web shells are typically  malicious tools  that provide remote control over a compromised server. Once uploaded, it allows threat actors to carry out a range of post-exploitation activities, including data theft, server monitoring, and lateral advancement within the network. The attack chain involves the  PAExec  remote administration tool, an alternative to  PsExec  t
Vietnamese Hackers Using New Delphi-Powered Malware to Target Indian Marketers

Vietnamese Hackers Using New Delphi-Powered Malware to Target Indian Marketers

Nov 14, 2023 ChatGPT / Malware
The Vietnamese threat actors behind the Ducktail stealer malware have been linked to a new campaign that ran between March and early October 2023, targeting marketing professionals in India with an aim to hijack Facebook business accounts. "An important feature that sets it apart is that, unlike previous campaigns, which relied on .NET applications, this one used Delphi as the programming language," Kaspersky  said  in a report published last week. Ducktail , alongside  Duckport  and  NodeStealer , is part of a  cybercrime ecosystem  operating out of Vietnam, with the attackers primarily using sponsored ads on Facebook to propagate malicious ads and deploy malware capable of plundering victims' login cookies and ultimately taking control of their accounts. Such attacks primarily single out users who may have access to a Facebook Business account. The fraudsters then use the unauthorized access to place advertisements for financial gain, perpetuating the infections fur
CanesSpy Spyware Discovered in Modified WhatsApp Versions

CanesSpy Spyware Discovered in Modified WhatsApp Versions

Nov 03, 2023 Spyware / Mobile Security
Cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a number of WhatsApp mods for Android that come fitted with a spyware module dubbed  CanesSpy . These modified versions of the instant messaging app have been observed propagated via sketchy websites advertising such modded software as well as Telegram channels used primarily by Arabic and Azerbaijani speakers, one of which boasts of two million users. "The trojanized client manifest contains suspicious components (a service and a broadcast receiver) that cannot be found in the original WhatsApp client," Kaspersky security researcher Dmitry Kalinin  said . Specifically, the new additions are designed to activate the spyware module when the phone is switched on or starts charging. It subsequently proceeds to establish contact with a command-and-control (C2) server, followed by sending information about the compromised device, such as the IMEI, phone number, mobile country code, and mobile network code. CanesSpy also transmits det
Canada Bans WeChat and Kaspersky Apps On Government Devices

Canada Bans WeChat and Kaspersky Apps On Government Devices

Oct 31, 2023 National Security / Cyber Threat
Canada on Monday announced a ban on the use of apps from Tencent and Kaspersky on government mobile devices, citing an "unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security." "The Government of Canada is committed to keeping government information and networks secure," the Canadian government  said . "We regularly monitor potential threats and take immediate action to address risks." To that end, Tencent's WeChat and Kaspersky's suite of applications have been removed from government-issued mobile devices effective October 30, 2023. Going forward, users of these devices will be blocked from downloading the apps. "We are taking a risk-based approach to cyber security by removing access to these applications on government mobile devices," Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, said in a statement, adding the apps "provide considerable access to the device's contents." WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging, social med
DoNot Team's New Firebird Backdoor Hits Pakistan and Afghanistan

DoNot Team's New Firebird Backdoor Hits Pakistan and Afghanistan

Oct 23, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The threat actor known as  DoNot Team  has been linked to the use of a novel .NET-based backdoor called Firebird targeting a handful of victims in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which disclosed the findings in its APT trends report Q3 2023, said the attack chains are also configured to deliver a downloader named CSVtyrei, so named for its resemblance to Vtyrei. "Some code within the examples appeared non-functional, hinting at ongoing development efforts," the Russian firm  said . Vtyrei  (aka BREEZESUGAR) refers to a first-stage payload and downloader strain previously harnessed by the adversary to deliver a malware framework known as RTY . DoNot Team, also known by the names APT-C-35, Origami Elephant, and SECTOR02, is suspected to be of Indian origin, with its attacks employing spear-phishing emails and rogue Android apps to propagate malware. The latest assessment from Kaspersky builds on an  analysis  of the threat actor's twin att
Sophisticated MATA Framework Strikes Eastern European Oil and Gas Companies

Sophisticated MATA Framework Strikes Eastern European Oil and Gas Companies

Oct 19, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
An updated version of a sophisticated backdoor framework called  MATA  has been used in attacks aimed at over a dozen Eastern European companies in the oil and gas sector and defense industry as part of a cyber espionage operation that took place between August 2022 and May 2023. "The actors behind the attack used spear-phishing mails to target several victims, some were infected with Windows executable malware by downloading files through an internet browser," Kaspersky  said  in a new exhaustive report published this week. "Each phishing document contains an external link to fetch a remote page containing a  CVE-2021-26411  exploit." CVE-2021-26411 (CVSS score: 8.8) refers to a  memory corruption vulnerability  in Internet Explorer that could be triggered to execute arbitrary code by tricking a victim into visiting a specially crafted site. It was previously exploited by the Lazarus Group in early 2021 to target security researchers. The cross-platform MATA f
TetrisPhantom: Cyber Espionage via Secure USBs Targets APAC Governments

TetrisPhantom: Cyber Espionage via Secure USBs Targets APAC Governments

Oct 18, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
Government entities in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are the target of a long-running cyber espionage campaign dubbed  TetrisPhantom . "The attacker covertly spied on and harvested sensitive data from APAC government entities by exploiting a particular type of secure USB drive, protected by hardware encryption to ensure the secure storage and transfer of data between computer systems," Kaspersky  said  in its APT trends report for Q3 2023. The Russian cybersecurity firm, which detected the ongoing activity in early 2023, said the USB drives offer hardware encryption and are employed by government organizations worldwide to securely store and transfer data, raising the possibility that the attacks could expand in the future to have a global footprint. The clandestine intrusion set has not been linked to any known threat actor or group, but the high-level of sophistication of the campaign points to a nation-state crew. "These operations were conducted by a highly sk
Zanubis Android Banking Trojan Poses as Peruvian Government App to Target Users

Zanubis Android Banking Trojan Poses as Peruvian Government App to Target Users

Oct 02, 2023 Malware / Cyber Threat
An emerging Android banking trojan called Zanubis is now masquerading as a Peruvian government app to trick unsuspecting users into installing the malware. "Zanubis's main infection path is through impersonating legitimate Peruvian Android applications and then tricking the user into enabling the Accessibility permissions in order to take full control of the device," Kaspersky  said  in an analysis published last week. Zanubis,  originally documented  in August 2022, is the latest addition to a  long list of Android banker malware  targeting the Latin American (LATAM) region. Targets include more than 40 banks and financial entities in Peru. It's mainly known for abusing accessibility permissions on the infected device to display fake overlay screens atop the targeted apps in an attempt to steal credentials. it's also capable of harvesting contact data, list of installed apps, and system metadata. Kaspersky said it observed recent samples of Zanubis in the w
Cybercriminals Using New ASMCrypt Malware Loader to Fly Under the Radar

Cybercriminals Using New ASMCrypt Malware Loader to Fly Under the Radar

Sep 29, 2023 Malware / Cyber Threat
Threat actors are selling a new crypter and loader called  ASMCrypt , which has been described as an "evolved version" of another loader malware known as DoubleFinger. "The idea behind this type of malware is to load the final payload without the loading process or the payload itself being detected by AV/EDR, etc.," Kaspersky  said  in an analysis published this week. DoubleFinger was  first documented  by the Russian cybersecurity company, detailing infection chains leveraging the malware to propagate a cryptocurrency stealer dubbed GreetingGhoul to victims in Europe, the U.S., and Latin America. ASMCrypt, once purchased and launched by the customers, is designed to establish contact with a backend service over the TOR network using hard-coded credentials, thereby enabling the buyers to build payloads of their choice for use in their campaigns. "The application creates an encrypted blob hidden inside a .PNG file," Kaspersky said. "This image mus
Researchers Shed Light on APT31's Advanced Backdoors and Data Exfiltration Tactics

Researchers Shed Light on APT31's Advanced Backdoors and Data Exfiltration Tactics

Aug 11, 2023 Malware / Cyber Attack
The Chinese threat actor known as APT31 (aka Bronze Vinewood, Judgement Panda, or Violet Typhoon) has been linked to a set of advanced backdoors that are capable of exfiltrating harvested sensitive information to Dropbox. The malware is part of a broader collection of  more than 15 implants  that have been put to use by the adversary in attacks targeting industrial organizations in Eastern Europe in 2022. "The attackers aimed to establish a permanent channel for data exfiltration, including data stored on air-gapped systems," Kaspersky  said  in an analysis spotlighting APT31's previously undocumented tradecraft. The intrusions employ a three-stage malware stack, each focused on disparate aspects of the attack chain: setting up persistence, gathering sensitive data, and transmitting the information to a remote server under the threat actor's control. Some variants of the second-stage backdoors also come with features designed to look up file names in the Microso
China's APT31 Suspected in Attacks on Air-Gapped Systems in Eastern Europe

China's APT31 Suspected in Attacks on Air-Gapped Systems in Eastern Europe

Aug 01, 2023 Cyber Attack / Data Safety
A nation-state actor with links to China is suspected of being behind a series of attacks against industrial organizations in Eastern Europe that took place last year to siphon data stored on air-gapped systems. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky attributed the intrusions with medium to high confidence to a hacking crew called  APT31 , which is also tracked under the monikers Bronze Vinewood, Judgement Panda, and Violet Typhoon (formerly Zirconium), citing commonalities in the tactics observed. The attacks entailed the use of more than 15 distinct implants and their variants, broken down into three broad categories based on their ability to establish persistent remote access, gather sensitive information, and transmit the collected data to actor-controlled infrastructure. "One of the implant types appeared to be a sophisticated modular malware, aimed at profiling removable drives and contaminating them with a worm to exfiltrate data from isolated, or air-gapped, networks of indus
North Korean Hacker Group Andariel Strikes with New EarlyRat Malware

North Korean Hacker Group Andariel Strikes with New EarlyRat Malware

Jun 29, 2023 Vulnerability / Malware
The North Korea-aligned threat actor known as Andariel leveraged a previously undocumented malware called EarlyRat in phishing attacks, adding another piece to the group's wide-ranging toolset. "Andariel infects machines by executing a Log4j exploit, which, in turn, downloads further malware from the command-and-control (C2) server," Kaspersky  said  in a new report. Also called Silent Chollima and Stonefly, Andariel is associated with North Korea's Lab 110, a primary hacking unit that also houses  APT38  (aka BlueNoroff ) and other subordinate elements collectively tracked under the umbrella name  Lazarus Group .  The threat actor, besides conducting espionage attacks against foreign government and military entities that are of strategic interest, is known to  carry out cyber crime  as an extra source of income to the sanctions-hit nation. Some of the key cyber weapons in its arsenal include a ransomware strain referred to as  Maui  and numerous remote access t
Bad Magic's Extended Reign in Cyber Espionage Goes Back Over a Decade

Bad Magic's Extended Reign in Cyber Espionage Goes Back Over a Decade

May 22, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
New findings about a hacker group linked to cyber attacks targeting companies in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict area reveal that it may have been around for much longer than previously thought. The threat actor, tracked as  Bad Magic  (aka Red Stinger), has not only been linked to a fresh sophisticated campaign, but also to an activity cluster that first came to light in May 2016. "While the previous targets were primarily located in the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea regions, the scope has now widened to include individuals, diplomatic entities, and research organizations in Western and Central Ukraine," Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky  said  in a technical report published last week. The campaign is characterized by the use of a novel modular framework codenamed CloudWizard, which features capabilities to take screenshots, record microphone, log keystrokes, grab passwords, and harvest Gmail inboxes. Bad Magic was  first documented  by the company in March 2023, detail
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